- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 13, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - Minnesota Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer sat out Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs because of an inflamed right index finger.

Cuddyer, who sprained a ligament in the finger on May 31 in Tampa Bay, had missed four games but played in the Twins’ last seven before aggravating the condition on Friday night. He is batting .262 with nine homers and 34 RBIs.

“His finger blew up on him last night during the middle of the night,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I know when he walked in this morning it was ugly. He said if he would have had a saw, he would have cut his hand off last night.”

Cuddyer was examined Saturday by a doctor, who said the inflammation could be result of some blood coming free from the original injury. Cuddyer said he was frustrated by the mystery surrounding this latest setback and hopes to get a more definitive answer when he sees a hand specialist on Monday.

The setback is the latest in a series of hand injuries for Cuddyer since the 2007 All-Star break. He was on the disabled list in July of 2007 with a sprained right thumb, and he missed a total of three months last season when he dislocated his right index finger and then suffered a strained tendon in his left index finger.

The injury leaves Minnesota short-handed in the outfield with center fielder Denard Span still suffering from dizziness. Gardenhire said Saturday that Span’s original diagnosis, an inner ear infection, had been changed to an inner ear disorder. Span will be reevaluated Tuesday.

With the team down to three position players on the bench, the Twins sent pitcher Anthony Swarzak to Triple-A Rochester after he threw seven innings in Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Cubs and called up catcher Jose Morales.

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